What is "Convulsive Grip"?


November 1, 2007, 02:01 PM
I keep seeing it mentioned in reference to point shooting.


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November 1, 2007, 05:10 PM
Gripping the gun hard. Really hard. I think Fairbairn said to grip it like it weighed fifty pounds. If you like, you can tighten your grip until your hand shakes. If you can get hold of a gun with a laser mounted, try it out - just watching the dot. You'll bob and weave with looser holds, but an extremely tight grip will keep it pretty steady. A not-so-tight grip will shake like Katherine Hepburn. Even the so-tight-your-hands-shake grip keeps the dot pretty solidly in place... and yes, it does surprise me that a relaxed grip wanders more than a shaking-hand grip.

Kill or Get Killed, Applegate, P. 108... just says to grip it extremely tight and convulsively.
Thread on the subject:

November 1, 2007, 07:38 PM
Miss Hepburn died in 2003. I don't think she's shaking anymore.

November 1, 2007, 07:45 PM
Man, that's not funny!

November 1, 2007, 07:53 PM
Quote: Miss Hepburn died in 2003. I don't think she's shaking anymore.

"Jesus Johnny, I don't know what's gonna happen to this group once you take it over.."


November 1, 2007, 08:03 PM
I've read at least one book on "point-shooting" that suggested firing the shot with a convulsive grip - instead of squeezing with your trigger finger, you squeeze your whole hand to take the shot. Doesn't work for me - my point-of-aim swings wildly when I try to do that.

November 1, 2007, 08:45 PM
Great thread cite Geronimo. Makes me want to go practice. Like here on THR they like to keep people honest. Like that little hint from the antagonist about his stint with Blackwater. :rolleyes:

I've tested myself with convulsive grip down to what I call my golf grip, which is equivelent to sqeezing a tube of toothpaste for a golf club. You want to hold it tight enough so that you don't lose it in swing, but not too tight that you squeeze out the toothpaste. I haven't timed myself, but regarding accuracy, I find that I am generally more accurate at around 75%. For faster shots, I increase my grip strength up to convulsive, which I define as gripping the gun till my hand shakes and then backing off just enough so that it doesn't shake anymore. The problem for me (which could be worked out with strength/endurance hand drills) is that with a convulsive grip, my hand fatigues fast and starts to hurt. This, however, is not an easy solution because of arthritis in my fingers.

Generally, the recoil was a tad less when using a stronger grip. Also, so as to compensate for hand fatigue and to improve control, I tried increasing grip strengh on the weak hand instead of the shooting hand, while wrapping the weak hand around more of the shooting hand. This works better for me.

At the end of the day, I still can't shoot nearly as well at speed as the guys on the thread cited to by Geronimo, but with practice, who knows.

November 3, 2007, 03:41 AM
Convulsive grip?

Just imagine it's zero dark thirty, you're all alone, it gets very quiet, then something rustles in the underbrush.

Then theres a scream and something dark and large is rushing at you.

That's a convulsive grip, and it IS the grip you will have in a life or death situation.

Might as well practice it when you're not scared spitless.

Pretty much the reason Col Applegate stressed it.

Point shooting is for close and quick.

30 feet or less generally, depends on target size and your ability.

Convulsive grip is solid, as previously stated.

And practice, practice, practice.

Oh Well, JMHO ... YMMV


November 3, 2007, 11:49 AM
5knives has it right.

Col Applegate studied the human response to a threat situation. Then he created a method of point shooting that was complimentary to the human reaction.

He found that you will square your shoulders to the threat. That you will not be able to take you eyes off of the threat. That you will squat slightly in preparation for running.

So he taught that you let your natural response take over and that you bring the gun up into your line of sight.

And you will be squeezing the heck out of the grip.

So practice that.

I found with practice that I could get a huge reduction in the movement of the gun when pulling the trigger by learning to put a lot more squeeze on the grip.

You would be amazed at how effective this kind of shooting is with some practice. I never use sights when practicing defensive shooting.

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